Representation of Numerical and Verbal Product Information in Consumer Memory

ABSTRACT - The objective of this research is to examine the representation of numerical versus verbal product information in consumer memory. Specifically, this research assesses the degree to which numerical versus verbal product information is represented isomorphically in memory. A conceptual framework based on surface versus meaning level processing of information is developed to examine the representation of numerical versus verbal information in consumer memory. The basic proposition tested here is that numerical information may be represented in memory isomorphic with its presentation in the external environment to a greater degree than verbal information. Research bearing on memory representations is discussed to bring out methodological importance of using a recognition paradigm. This paradigm is adopted here and hypotheses are developed about the recognition of numerical versus verbal product information following a learning task. Two experiments were conducted to test the hypotheses, with the results providing support. This study addresses an important question concerning representations in consumer memory of product information available externally in different modes. Symbolic manipulation of externally structured information in the form of numbers versus words can result in memory representations that may or may not be reflective of this external symbol. Theoretical implications of this research relate to how consumers process and represent numerical and verbal magnitude information in particular, and magnitude information in general.



Citation:

Terry L. Childers and Madhubalan Viswanathan (1996) ,"Representation of Numerical and Verbal Product Information in Consumer Memory", in AP - Asia Pacific Advances in Consumer Research Volume 2, eds. Russel Belk and Ronald Groves, Provo, UT : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 92.

Asia Pacific Advances in Consumer Research Volume 2, 1996      Page 92

REPRESENTATION OF NUMERICAL AND VERBAL PRODUCT INFORMATION IN CONSUMER MEMORY

Terry L. Childers, University of Minnesota

Madhubalan Viswanathan, University of Illinois

ABSTRACT -

The objective of this research is to examine the representation of numerical versus verbal product information in consumer memory. Specifically, this research assesses the degree to which numerical versus verbal product information is represented isomorphically in memory. A conceptual framework based on surface versus meaning level processing of information is developed to examine the representation of numerical versus verbal information in consumer memory. The basic proposition tested here is that numerical information may be represented in memory isomorphic with its presentation in the external environment to a greater degree than verbal information. Research bearing on memory representations is discussed to bring out methodological importance of using a recognition paradigm. This paradigm is adopted here and hypotheses are developed about the recognition of numerical versus verbal product information following a learning task. Two experiments were conducted to test the hypotheses, with the results providing support. This study addresses an important question concerning representations in consumer memory of product information available externally in different modes. Symbolic manipulation of externally structured information in the form of numbers versus words can result in memory representations that may or may not be reflective of this external symbol. Theoretical implications of this research relate to how consumers process and represent numerical and verbal magnitude information in particular, and magnitude information in general.

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Authors

Terry L. Childers, University of Minnesota
Madhubalan Viswanathan, University of Illinois



Volume

AP - Asia Pacific Advances in Consumer Research Volume 2 | 1996



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